Dr. Sonya Dougal serves as SVP, Scientific Programs, and Awards at the New York Academy of Sciences. In this role, she leads strategic development and scientific oversight of the Academy's international portfolio of scientific workshops, conferences, and symposia across the broad spectrum of life sciences and biomedical research. Through this platform — and via strategic alliances with external organizations, foundations, and individuals — the Academy convenes leading international scientists from multiple sectors in focused efforts to catalyze advances in science for the benefit of society.
Dr. Dougal has more than 15 years of experience in scientific research and program development in academia, industry, and the non-profit sector. Previously, she was Director of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center at NYU Langone where she oversaw the administration of a $30 million program dedicated to discovering biomarkers for Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury as well as providing mental health care for veterans and their families. For the past decade, she has held roles of increasing responsibility at the Academy including serving as a Program Manager of Life Sciences, Founding Director of the Academy’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Initiative, and Director of Life Sciences Discussion Groups. Dr. Dougal began her career outside of academia as a Project Manager at Eric Marder Associates, a market research company.
Dr. Dougal received her bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She was the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health for her postdoctoral training as a cognitive neuroscientist in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Phelps at New York University. Dr. Dougal has authored peer-reviewed articles in leading scientific journals and presented her research at international conferences.